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Hurricane Sandy Update -- Wednesday 11/7

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Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Hurricane Sandy Update -- Wednesday 11/7
From Nov 07, 2012 to Nov 08, 2012 (included)
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Dear Elected Official:

Severe weather is currently hitting New York again, and our city is prepared. We have informed residents in potentially vulnerable areas, added emergency services crews, and closed city parks.

Today the Mayor announced that over $32 million has been donated to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City by more than 10,000 people. Our recovery efforts continue to grow, with more than 214,000 tons of debris from the storm removed to date and 1.6 million meals passed out by our NYC Service volunteers, the Salvation Army, and the National Guard.

Here is the latest information for you to share with your constituents:

The Nor’easter:

· The National Weather Service warns that there could be major flooding in spots already eroded by Sandy. We are at risk of coastal flooding until 6am tomorrow.

· We are also under a high wind warning through 4am. The winds will blow at 25 to 40 mph, with gusts tonight reaching 60 miles mph or higher.

· The storm will include a wintery mix of rain and snow through the rest of this evening, ending with rain tomorrow morning.

· We will have unseasonably cold temperatures tonight. They’ll drop into the mid-30s, and the high winds will make it feel as if it is in the mid-20s.

· Although big accumulations of snow are unlikely, streets will be slick and sloppy, and visibility will be reduced. With that in mind, people should not drive if they can avoid it and should use mass transit instead. If they must drive, they should exercise extreme caution.

· The MTA is closely monitoring the weather. Customers should check mta.info for the latest service status.

· People should stay indoors. Because Hurricane Sandy weakened trees, the high winds tonight could cause more trees and limbs to come down and the storm debris still on our streets to circulate dangerously.

· Outdoor items that might be blown around by high winds should be secured or brought indoors.

· People should have working flashlights and spare batteries available.

· The FDNY has designated 20 special firefighting task forces for storm duties, with units concentrated in areas hard hit by the hurricane. These teams will be outfitted with small boats for swift water rescues; chain saws; pumps; and other equipment.

Parks & Beaches:

· City parks, playgrounds, and beaches will be closed from noon on Wednesday to noon on Thursday. This is in anticipation of the Nor’easter and to protect people from the threat of falling branches and trees, as well as potentially dangerous conditions at our beaches.

· Details on park closures can be found at: nyc.gov/parks

Staying Warm in the Cold Weather:

· Police officers have made announcements over patrol car loudspeakers in some areas flooded by Hurricane Sandy that are close to the shoreline and most vulnerable to further flooding. This was done to ensure that anyone who is vulnerable can find a safe place to weather the storm.

· Police officers are directing people to shelters.

· Anyone who needs heat should find shelter, whether at one of our city facilities or with a friend or relative.

· We now have opened over 200 warming centers across the city: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/warming_ctr.html

o We opened a new warming center in Red Hook that is open from 8am to midnight. It is located at 110 West 9th Street.

· Our volunteers have been going door-to-door in affected areas urging those still without power to find a warm place to stay.

· Our shelters are also open for those who are seeking warmth. The list of shelters is here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html

· We have buses running to take people to shelters tonight if they need a place to stay warm overnight. The bus pickups are listed here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/overnight_shelter.html

· Those who are using generators in their homes to run their heat should be very careful to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Tips for smart generator use are below.


· City building inspectors have ordered all property owners and contractors to secure their construction sites and buildings in advance of the Nor’easter.

· All exterior construction work is to have ceased at noon on Wednesday until the end of the storm.

Food, Water & Blanket Distribution Sites:

· To date we have distributed:

o 1.6 million prepared meals

o 400,000 bottles of water

o 86,000 blankets

o 1,198 cases of diapers

o 71 cases of baby wipes

o 520 cases of baby formula

o 8,212 units of new underwear (kids and adults)

o 1,552 winter hats

o 389 scarves

o 1,767 socks

o 1,094 blankets

o 4,000 hand-warmers

o 3,060 D batteries

o 6,876 C batteries

o 285 cases of garbage bags

o 3,399 Flashlights/Lanterns

o 476 cases of toilet paper

o 420 cases of bleach

o 20,000 cases of Ziploc bags

o 6,000 masks

o 10,000 boxes of cleaning wipes

o 1,500 work gloves

o 878 bars of soap

o 140 cases of toothbrushes

o 750 units of toothpaste

o 584 bath towels

· Yesterday we distributed 1,500 electric space heaters to people in Broad Channel and the Rockaways who have had their power restored but do not yet have heat in their homes.

· We have distribution sites set up in the hardest-hit areas of the city.

o Food, water, blankets, baby formula, diapers, batteries and other supplies are available at all sites.

o These sites are staffed by NYC Service volunteers, as well as the Salvation Army, and the National Guard.

· The details of these sites, including the exact locations and hours of operation, can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/foodandwater.html

o We will keep them operational for as long as is needed, and no one who shows up for food and water will be turned away.

o Each person will be able to take three meals and five bottles of water at these sites.

o People should bring their own bags to carry their food and water.

· Yesterday and today local food trucks gave away free hot meals at 21 sites in the hardest-hit areas in a partnership arranged by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. The locations and hours of operation can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hot_food.html

24-Hour Debris Cleanup:

· The Department of Sanitation is deploying teams around the clock to clear debris from the storm, with teams running 12-hour shifts since the storm ended.

· To date they have removed 214,899 tons of debris.

· The Department of Sanitation has committed 728 pieces of equipment to debris removal, including 270 trucks, 234 mechanical booms, 114 front end loaders, and 110 cut down dump trucks.

· We have announced that we are reducing garbage collections in areas largely unaffected by the storm to allow us to move even more resources to neighborhoods that most need it.

· The General Contractors Association has helped us marshal private contractors, and the Army Corps of Engineers has partnered with us.

Air BNB Temporary Housing:

· Air BNB, an on-line service that connects people seeking temporary housing with those who have unused space, has launched a new platform to link New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy to New Yorkers who want to offer places to stay.

· Air BNB is providing the service at no fee, and information is available at: airbnb.com/sandy.

Trees and Debris:

20,040 tree service requests have been made (alerting us of downed trees or branches).
Of these requests, 13,242 were for downed trees.
6,954 of these emergency tree conditions have been addressed.

Volunteering, Donating, and Giving Blood:

· Workers from the City Departments of Sanitation, Parks, and Transportation, NYC Service volunteers, and the US Marines are also partnering with the Salvation Army to collect the large amount of used clothing that’s been left outdoors as donations in various parts of the city. They’re also distributing cleaning supplies.

· All clothes collected will go to Salvation Army locations in our hardest-hit areas.

· If you would like to donate clothing: Please do not leave these items outside. Instead, deliver them to Salvation Army centers; they’ll make sure your donations get where they’re needed.

· You can also donate them to New York Cares, Goodwill, the New York Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, or Catholic Charities. If you’d like to make a donation of food, you can do so with City Harvest and Food Bank for New York City.

· Cash donations to support recovery efforts can be made through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Learn more here: nyc.gov/fund

o Generally, cash donations are preferable to in-kind donations because the logistics of collecting and distributing those supplies are complex.

o The Mayor’s Fund has already received over $32 million in donations from over 10,000 people.

· Those who want to volunteer can visit NYC Service at: nyc.gov/service

· Giving blood is incredibly helpful right now. For more information visit: nybloodcenter.org


· As of this afternoon there were 66,000 customers without power, down from 91,000 yesterday and a peak of 750,000 during the storm.

· With 30,000 to 40,000 of these customers, the hurdles to restoring power are with the buildings, rather than the utility. Even when the power is restored to these areas, there is work to be done in these buildings before the lights can be turned on.

· In the past 48 hours, 40 teams of licensed electricians and plumbers, City workers, and representatives of utility companies have gone door-to-door in the Rockaways and the South Shore of Staten Island.

· They’ve inspected approximately 1,000 homes, and found that roughly half need repair to their electrical and gas boiler systems.

· These homes are in areas where utility service isn’t yet restored. And by identifying what needs to be done in individual buildings now, we’ll be able to get utilities turned back on more quickly once service is ready.


· 323 NYCHA buildings housing 65,700 people have had their electricity restored. Currently, there are 79 buildings in 11 developments in Coney Island, Red Hook and Far Rockaway housing approximately 13,500 people where electricity is still out.

o Working with City, State and Federal governments, NYCHA is installing 15 additional generators to restore power to these locations by the end of the week.

· Heat and hot water has been restored to 263 NYCHA buildings housing 54,000 people. Currently there are 123 buildings throughout 18 developments affecting around 23,000 residents without heat.

o NYCHA has set up a warming center in Red Hook and are working with the city to establish additional warming centers and provide blankets to residents who have not had heat or hot water restored.

Disaster Assistance Centers:

· 6 of these centers are open.

· These centers provide information about applying for emergency social and economic benefits.

· The list of sites and hours of operation can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html

· These facilities are operated by the City’s Human Resources Administration in cooperation with FEMA.

Mobile Medical Vans:

Mobile medical vans staffed with primary care providers are providing medical care and distributing commonly prescribed drugs at several locations in the Rockaways, Staten Island, and Coney Island.
There is a particular need for pharmaceuticals in the Rockaways because of a limited number of pharmacies still open and able to fulfill prescriptions.
Volunteers working through the City’s volunteer operation, NYC Service, have been knocking on doors to check on and address the medical needs of those who remain in their homes, often without heat and power.
The New York City Human Resources Administration, along with FEMA Search and Rescue, have targeted our most high risk households and will continue this effort until power is restored.
· The list of sites can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/dasc.html.


· 1,728 public schools were open today, 100 more than Monday.

· 43 schools with 20,000 students have been relocated due to storm damage to their building.

· John Jay High School in Brooklyn will be open tomorrow.

· Three schools that served as shelter sites will open tomorrow and 13 remain without power, and will open once restored.

· The Department of Education has coordinated transportation options for families with children who have been reassigned to other school sites:

o Full reimbursement for any family of a K-8 student at a relocated school taking MTA/cab service to and from school.

o 55 cents per mile reimbursement for any family of a student at a relocated school who uses their own vehicles.

o Free metro-cards will be distributed to all high school students at relocated schools who do not already have one.

· We are working hard to re-open as many schools that are currently closed as possible. However some schools will remain closed for some time. Parents of students in those affected schools should watch for communication from their schools or:

o Visit nyc.gov/schools

o Call 311

o Text the words “nyc schools” or “escuela” to 877-877


· The number of shelters has been consolidated to 11.

· Our shelter system will remain open until evacuees can return to their homes or find short-term housing.

· A full list of shelters can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/2012/hurricane_shelters.html


The supply of gasoline into our city is increasing, however supplies in our city remain below-normal.
· Barges carrying 21 million gallons of gasoline unloaded at the region’s terminals this weekend.

· Distribution to retail stations will take some time, and until that bottleneck clears, lines at the gas pump will remain long.

· Police officers are posted at every open retail station in the city to keep order and to encourage gas station owners to remain open.

· We ask motorists to stay patient and to please use mass transit as much as possible.

With significant numbers of people purchasing gasoline in portable containers - transporting and using them to power generators - great caution and common sense should be followed:
Gas containers should NEVER be brought inside: store and use outdoors.
Gas is highly flammable, and gas fumes can ignite.
NEVER refuel a running generator. It should be shut down and allowed to cool before refueling. (The hot surface can ignite the gas fumes.)
Use only approved containers – only 2 and 2 1/2 gallons are approved for transport without a permit.
Use caution when transporting gas containers. (If transporting in a vehicle, place sealed container on floor in back seat and keep windows open to vent any fumes.)
Do not smoke anywhere near gasoline!


· New York City tap water is safe.

· However water in Breezy Point is not potable and should not be consumed in any way due to damage to the pipes.

o Bottled water is being provided to Breezy Point residents. That is what should be consumed there.

o For more information visit: nyc.gov/health


· Alternate side parking will be suspended through Monday the 12th. It will be suspended tomorrow, Friday and Saturday this week to facilitate storm cleanup efforts. It is suspended on Sunday per usual, and is suspended on Monday because it is Veterans Day.

· The Holland Tunnel is open to all traffic.

· The Queens-Midtown Tunnel has one lane open for buses inbound in the morning and outbound in the evening.

· The Hugh Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel is still closed.

· Tolls on the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge and the Cross Bay Bridge are suspended.

· Meters are in effect.

Mass Transit:

· Subways, railroads, and buses are operating on a modified basis.

o All details on MTA service status can be found at: mta.info

o Limited G train service has been restored.

· NYCEDC, Seastreak, and DOT are partnering to provide temporary ferry service during the morning and evening rush hours tomorrow, from the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to Wall Street/Pier 11 and East 35th Street. Learn more.

· Staten Island Ferry service is running on its regular schedule.

· The East River Ferry is running.

· PATH service is still suspended as they continue to remove water from facilities and fix damage.

· NJ Transit services have been restored on a limited basis. Details are here: njtransit.com.

Director of Housing Recovery Operations:

· We face an enormous challenge – providing longer-term housing for the New Yorkers displaced from their homes by the storm.

Many buildings that were flooded are going to be out of commission for a long time because of damage to boilers and electrical systems.
This includes public housing, as well as private apartments and houses.
· We are committed to ensuring that every New Yorker who needs a warm place to live and a roof over his or her head is going to have one.

· Today we announced the appointment of Brad Gair as the City’s new Director of Housing Recovery Operations.

· His mission will be to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to house New Yorkers displaced by Sandy.

· He is a resident of Brooklyn who has 20 years of experience in such efforts at every level of government, with a particular expertise in post-disaster housing recovery.

· As a senior official at FEMA from 1999-2006 he managed long-term recovery efforts in Louisiana, Florida, and North Carolina.

· He was the highest ranking federal official directly involved in helping New York get back in its feet after 9/11.

· From 2006-2009 he was Deputy Commissioner for Operations at our Office of Emergency Management.

Community Restoration Directors:

· We have appointed seasoned, high-level managers from our administration to identify urgent needs in affected communities and deploy resources needed to meet them.

· These directors will each cover part of the city. They are:

o Staten Island: Haeda Mihaltses, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Mayor’s Office

o Queens: Diahann Billings-Burford, Chief Service Officer

o Brooklyn: Nazli Parvizi, Commissioner, Community Affairs Unit

o Manhattan & Bronx: Matt Mahoney, Associate Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection

Building Inspections:

· The Department of Buildings is inspecting 55,000 building in Zone A to ensure safety for New Yorkers.

· Buildings will be tagged with one of three color placards to indicate their safety:

o Green: the building is structurally safe

o Red: the building is not safe and may not be entered

o Yellow: it can be occupied conditionally (i.e. one floor may be safe while another is not.) These conditions would be explained on the placard.

· Building owners can also self-certify with the Department of Buildings.

57th Street Crane:

· The crane has been rotated and tethered to the building.

All streets in the area – except for two lanes on the north side of West 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues – are open.
· All buildings can be reoccupied, but some may have utilities that need to be restored.

Support to Businesses:

· We have put together a package of support for NYC businesses impacted by the storm:

· Emergency low-interest loans of up to $25,000 for small and mid-sized businesses that have been interrupted as a result of the storm.

· For larger businesses that were damaged, the City will provide sales tax exemptions of up to $100,000 on purchases of materials and related services needed to rebuild.

· For displaced businesses, the City has identified more than 170,000 square feet that will be made available free of charge, including 40,000 square feet of City space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and more than 100,000 square feet of space that private landlords have made available, across the five boroughs.

· Businesses can find more information and apply for these programs at:

o http://www.nycedc.com/backtobusiness

o http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/home/home.shtml

Federal Disaster Assistance:

· Anyone affected by Sandy – homeowners, renters, and businesses – can apply for federal disaster assistance.

· They can register at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the Federal Emergency Management agency at 1-800-621-3362.

Reporting and Handling Conditions:

· 911 should only be used in case of emergencies.

· To report other conditions such as fallen trees and sewer backups, please use 311 Online, text 311 at 311-692, or call 311.

o Fallen trees are incredibly dangerous. Anyone who sees one should report it immediately. No one should try to cut down or move damaged trees themselves.

· Power outages and live wires should be directly reported to Con Ed (1-800-75-CON-ED) or LIPA (1-800-490-0075).

o Live wires are also extremely dangerous. No one should touch them or be near them.

Advice to Share with Your Constituents:

· Any food – including packaged food – that was touched by flood water should be thrown away. The flood water may contain sewage or other contamination.

· Other items that have been touched by flood water should be cleaned and disinfected. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.

· Tap water is safe to drink.

· Do not use generators or grills indoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat when these devices are used indoors. They should only be used outside and kept away from windows and vents.

· Everyone should have and use battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms. They should test the batteries if possible.

· If someone experiences sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, weakness or the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, they should immediately seek fresh air and call the poison control center at 212–POISONS (212-764-7667.) They can also call 911, since poisoning is life threatening.

· Important guides on carbon monoxide poisoning and food safety can be found at nyc.gov/health.

Elected Officials Hotline:

· This line will be open 24 hours/day until further notice

Staying Informed

· For the latest updates, New Yorkers can:

o Visit NYC.gov

o Follow @nycmayorsoffice Twitter

o Sign up for notifications from Notify NYC

Thank you, and we will continue to keep you informed.

-Ryan Whalen

Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson

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